Replacing Adam Sandler at the top of the list, Johnny Depp heads this year’s Forbes magazine roster of most overpaid actors.
Movies starring the three-time Academy Award nominee, who came in second place last year, returned only $1.20 for every $1 he was paid, according to the annual tally. For perspective, films featuring this year’s actor with the best return, Chris Evans, took in $181.80 for every $1 paid him.
Sinking Depp, 52, was this year’s $60 million-budget flop “Mortdecai,” which took in only $7.7 million domestically and another $39.6 million overseas to become a major money-loser.
The survey looks at the last three films before June 2015 in which each actor played a significant role, excepting animated films and small releases, and counts movies’ global box office minus their production budget.
In second place, returning $6.50 for every $1 paid, was Denzel Washington, who despite his hits “The Equalizer” (2014) and “Flight” (2012) was undermined by “2 Guns” (2013). The two-time Oscar-winner and six-time nominee, who turns 61 on Monday, has been among the top-ten overpaid actors every year since 2010, when he reached as high as No. 3.
Will Ferrell, 48, who topped the list that year and in 2009, came in third this year. While “Get Hard” (2015) proved profitable, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” (2013) did middlingly and “The Campaign” (2012) barely broke even, contributing to the star’s return of $6.80 for every $1 paid.
New to the list were Liam Neeson, done in by “Run All Night” (2015); Christian Bale (2014’s “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” 2013’s “Out of the Furnace”); and Will Smith and Brad Pitt, who despite profitable box office on their films command such high fees that their movies return only $8.60 and $12, respectively, for every $1 they are paid.
Channing Tatum (this year’s “Jupiter Ascending”) and Ben Affleck (2013’s “Runner Runner”) make their second appearances on the list. Tom Cruise made the list from 2009 to 2011 — though his movies do well, he, like Smith and Pitt, commands a particularly high paycheck.
Dropping off last year’s list are Sandler, Ben Stiller, Ryan Reynolds, Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.